Bristol-Myers Squibb to acquire Amira Pharma in a $475 million deal
22 Jul 2011
Global biopharma company, Bristol-Myers Squibb yesterday agreed to buy Amira Pharmaceuticals, a developer of new drugs to treat inflammatory and fibrotic diseases, in a $475 million cash deal.
Founded in 2005, Amira is a small molecule pharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and early development of new drugs to treat inflammatory disease.
Since the company's founding in 2005, Amira's has discovered seven highly-targeted, novel compounds that progressed to GLP toxicity studies. Four of these compounds are currently being studied in humans.
The privately held company has raised $28 million from venture capital firms that include Avalon Ventures, Prospect Venture Partners and Versant Ventures and Novo of Denmark, the majority shareholder of Novo Nordisk.
Amira's lead drug candidate, AM152, blocks a protein receptor molecule that binds with the signaling molecule lysophosphatidic acid. Studies have shown that the receptor molecule, known as LPA1, stimulates the growth of various types of fibrous connective tissue that can result in a range of diseases that can damage organs.
Federal regulators in April granted orphan-drug status to AM152 for the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a thickening and scarring disease of the lungs.